Take Courage. It’s Time to Face the Lions.

Spiritual Lions in the Heavenly Realms

Sooner or later each of us will face a bully. They’re everywhere. And they’re determined to abuse, intimidate and dominate others by force, threats, and/or coercion.

One of the most famous bullies in history was Goliath, the Philistine “champion” who taunted the Israelite army for 40 days. As most people know, Jesse’s youngest son, David the shepherd boy, did what the whole Israelite army could not or would not do. He took out Goliath with a single stone in his sling shot. Then he decapitated him. And the rest of the Philistines ran for the hills.

Another famous example is Daniel the prophet. He chose to pray in public when he knew it was against the law. As a result he spent the night with a bunch of hungry lions. But his faith and courage allowed him to live and tell about it later. In fact, he watched his enemies get devoured by those same lions the very next day.

St. Paul told us that our enemy Satan struts about like a roaring lion, looking for ways to devour Christians. St. Paul also said we’re not just in a battle with flesh and blood, but with unseen spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.

These spiritual forces — or bullies — attacked David and Jason Benham not long ago. They had their TV series cancelled by the Home and Garden network due to media pressure over their belief in God and the scriptures. The Benhams chose to make the best of the situation by taking a firm stand as Christians. Like David and Daniel, they’re doing just fine today.

The Benham brothers are not alone. Lately, many people across our nation and around the world have been facing bullies. Some, like Father Jonathan Morris, are simply insulted and abused in the streets. Others are having their businesses ruined through the courts. Some are gunned down while attending a Bible study. Others are beheaded by radical Muslims.

What should Christians do when faced with horrible, life- and/or career-threatening circumstances? Some are called to suffer persecution. That’s very clear in the Bible. Scripture also says we should pray for our enemies. And we must forgive them, too.

Part of the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray was “…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does God’s will look like? Sometimes, when almost everyone else is cowering like the Israelites, we must take a stand like David. We must face our giants. And stop them. When we do, the rest of our enemies might just run for the hills.

I’m ready to get a slingshot and pick up some stones. How about you?

One of the most encouraging words I’ve read were penned by Beth Moore in her book Believing God:

God has so much for you, Dear One. And, yes, seasons will come when He requires so much from you that you feel like you can’t bear it. You do have a choice. You don’t have to do it His way. You can choose bitterness, resentment, carnality, or mediocrity. Or you can go for it.  With everything you’ve got. You can experience the unmatched exhilaration of partnering in divine triumph. The stakes are high. The cost is steep. But I’ll promise you this: there is no high like the Most High. Don’t miss it for the world!

These are the verses that the Benham brothers had the courage to believe when they faced their giant…

…do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate , nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

It’s interesting how often God promises to be with us when we are courageous. Here are a few encouraging biblical words about facing giants…

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 31:7

Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” Deuteronomy 31:23

Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Joshua 1:6

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. Joshua 1:7

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. 1 Chronicles 22:13

Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act. 1 Chronicles 28:10

Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you…” 1 Chronicles 28:20

But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work. 2 Chronicles 15:7

Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act. Ezra 10:4

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” Isaiah 35:4

He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous! Daniel 10:19

“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,” declares the LORD, “take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,” declares the LORD, “and work; for I am with you,” declares the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:4

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” Acts 23:11

Apparently, God wants us to be courageous. …Ya think?

For a Successful Life Get Wisdom

Proof That Wisdom Comes With Age

We know that Wisdom is often gained through life experiences. And we know it’s the ability to understand things other people cannot. Wisdom is having good sense — street smarts — knowing what to do and the best way to do it.

But according to scripture, Wisdom is also a free spiritual gift — a blessing that is taught and endowed by God [1] when we ask Him for it [2] and take the time to listen to Him [3].

Spiritual Wisdom contains prudence (careful, good judgement), understanding (the ability to comprehend), knowledge (having all the facts and good skills), discretion (knowing how to speak and behave) and humility (a proper view of one’s own importance) [4].

Spiritual Wisdom makes life sweeter and our future hopeful [5]. Wisdom can even make us look better [6].

Who is the best example of Wisdom? Jesus Christ, of course [7].

So when you get Spiritual Wisdom what’s the evidence? You’re more pure, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, merciful, and less hypocritical [8].

If Spiritual Wisdom is free and has all these benefits, who wouldn’t want it? And who wouldn’t pray for it …especially when God promises to give it without criticizing us for asking [9]?  The proud and foolish …those of us who think we already have it and don’t think we need it [10].

I could use a little more of this huge gift. How about you? Let’s pray for it right now.

For more biblical insight research Spiritual Wisdom on Studylight.org.

Scripture references:
[1] Exodus 28:3, 31:3, 35:31; 1 Kings 4:29; Proverbs 2:6, 3:13; Daniel 2:21; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Ephesians 1:17; James 1:5
[2] 2 Chronicles 1:10-11
[3] Proverbs 2:2
[4] Proverbs 8:12, 11:12
[5] Proverbs 24:13-14
[6] Ecclesiastes 8:1
[7] 1 Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 2:3
[9] James 1:5
[10] Proverbs 1:7, 11:2, 13:10, 15:33

Celebrating Victory After “A Long Train of Abuses”

Fireworks Over the Statue of Liberty on July 4th

…239 years ago, 56 men took a stand for freedom and hoped for success…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. [1]

Thomas Jefferson and 55 others faced an army of tyrants. They risked everything, including their lives…

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America. – Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775 [2]

The cost in blood, sweat and tears was massive. Thank God they won. While we celebrate today, let’s pause for a moment and pray for our leaders with the hope that He will stop tyrants around the world…

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior… Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.” – [3]

Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as “one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others.” [4]